----- Original Message -----
From: "Pete Travis" <lists(a)petetravis.com>
Sent: Wednesday, July 9, 2014 7:42:47 AM
Subject: Re: Introduction, Documenting Workstation
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On 03/28/2014 06:38 AM, Pete Travis wrote:
> I'm acquainted with many of you already, but an introduction seems
> fitting anyway. I've been involved with the project for a few years now,
> primarily on the Docs team but also some light packaging and lately
> light infrastructure things. I live in Montana, US, where the population
> density is almost as low as the temperature. I work for a small
> government agency doing user and systems support.
> Why should you care? Well, the Docs team reached a decision this last
> weekend to proactively work with the Product WGs to assess documentation
> needs. I volunteered to liaison with the Workstation team. As we
> approach the release cycle, I'd like everyone to keep documentation in
> mind and the discussion open about not only implementation, but how to
> represent that implementation to the users. An undocumented feature
> isn't featured :)
> I'm looking forward to working with everyone, perhaps saying hello at
> the next meeting - there are meetings, right? - and developing a
> presentation of the Workstation Product that shows off the capabilities
> and character of your work.
So, I still intend to do this. I've seen quite a bit of discussion on target
audience, high level goals, and the like, but only recently have I seen
actual implementation details like package lists - and the discussions seem
to trail off before there a conclusion is drawn.
I'd really like to showcase the Desktop team's work in the Release Notes. The
Cloud group has a bunch of trac tickets they've been pushing through; the
Server group has been communicating profusely on their list. Both have a
very clear divergence from the current user experience.
While I've tried to keep pace with Workstation, I haven't developed a picture
of it as a divergent product as compared to the desktop spin. The changes I
*have* noticed do look interesting for developers; various libraries
installed by default, devassist, SCLs - but the experience changes in Cloud
and especially Server are so dramatic that I can't help but think I'm
missing something with workstation. To me, the Technical Spec and tasklist
read like "We think GNOME is the ideal environment for developers, so the
GNOME Desktop is Fedora's Developer Workstation. Oh, and there are other
developer focused packages there so you don't have to install them later."
I'm not trying to be disparaging, trivialize your efforts, or
that. Part of writing documentation is to put yourself in the mindset of the
end user, and try to answer the questions they come up with. A lot people
are going to be very excited about Workstation, and when they sit down in
front of their computer, they'll want to know what makes Fedora Workstation
I *sincerely don't know* what to tell our users about your product, other
than going over the feature list GNOME, and listing out the extra packages
that come with it. Please, help me out here, speak up about how you want
Fedora Workstation to be documented.
Thanks for working on this. I think the reality here is that the workstation
to a larger degree than the two other products is a continuation of what was
there before, so it is harder to 'radically' depart from what was there before,
unless we decide to go for ChromeOS as our desktop or similar.
I also think that in practice we are spending quite a bit of energy for F21 just
cleaning up our act a bit in terms of meeting the minimum expectations of users,
in terms of the quality of the base experience to be even considered an alternative
to Ubuntu or MacOS X. Which is crucial although not very
sellable (we don't suck anymore isn't really a selling point :).
So the desktop here is bound to be more of an incremental thing where we step by
step improve the developer experience, either through improvements in the desktop itself
or by adding new tools, like DevAssistant or the Software collections.
So the major features of the first Fedora Workstation release in my mind is:
a) Designed around the Software Installer as the primary source of software and updates.
Including support for Eclipse add-ons.
b) Improvements to the terminal with specific developer friendly features -
c) Software collections
e) Much improved HiDPI support
g) Improved Firewall handling
h) Integrated look and feel between GTK+ and Qt applications
i) Switch to dnf from yum, improving installation experience significantly
j) New streamlined initial install - with USB drive install being primary focus
Of course this being open source a lot of these things ends up elsewhere than Fedora too,
but things like Software Collections
and DevAssistant will likely be Fedora unique for at least the forseeable future. And the
combination of dnf and the new software
installer should make using Fedora for a desktop a much improved experience, putting us
more on par with competing solutions.
So the tech spec should more be read along the lines of 'We have chosen a starting
point and here is our roadmap for improving
things going forward with our target audience in mind'.